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Flashcards in Pregnancy Deck (15):

describe hCG

  • glycoprotein
  • secreted by syncytial cells of trophoblast
  • prevents involution of corpus luteum
  • used in pregnancy tests


describe what the corpus luteum produces

  • estrogens
  • progesterone
  • relaxin
    • relaxes pelvic ligaments


describe function of hCG in male fetus

  • stimulates testosterone production
  • promotes descent of testes


describe the timeline of corpus luteum and placenta


  • up to week 12:
    • corpus luteum produces progesterone
  • more than 12 weeks
    • placenta fully developed
    • takes over role of hCG and produces progesterone
    • corpus luteum involutes


describe role of progesterone in fetus

  • progesterone is an important precursor for synthesis of adrenocortical hormones by fetal adrenal cortex
    • DHEA-S is produced in fetal adrenal gland which is then made into estrone/estradiol
    • estradiol is resent to fetal liver to make 16-DHEA-S which goes back to placenta to make estriol

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describe the role of progesterone in the mother

  • maintains pregnancy
  • supports endometrial lining
  • forms cervical plug
  • makes uterus < excitable as it expands (inhibits labor)
  • inhibits lactation during pregnancy


describe function of estrogen in mother

  • prepares body for parturition
  • inhibits milk production
  • development of breast
  • initiation of labor (increased estrogen:progesterone ratio)
  • increases levels of all binding globulins


describe the role of estrogen in the fetus

  • placenta has strong aromatase activity which convert androgens to estrogens which prevents masculinization of female fetus


describe role of hPL

  • major role is to make glucose available for fetus
  • releases FFA stores and inhibits uptake of glucose in the mother
  • breast development 
  • secreted by the placenta


describe endocrine changes in pregnancy in the mother

  • AP size increases by 50%
    • ACTH and prolactin increase
    • FSH and LH decrease
      • ​decreases because of high estrogen/progesterone levels from fetus that negatively feedback on GnRH


describe change in thyroid gland in pregnant mother

  • thyroid gland increases by 50% because of increased TSH, hCG, and hCT
    • increase in total T3 and T4
  • the mother is still euthyroid because of elevated levels of TBG, not hyperthyroid


describe change in parathyroid gland in preg. mother

  • increase in PTH
    • increases Ca for fetus
    • increases Ca for milk after birth


describe change in pancrease in preg. mother

  • pancreas increases production of insulin
    • insulin resistance in mother's tissues in order to make more glucose available for the fetus


describe change in adrenal gland in preg. mother

  • increases cortisol levels
    • AAs for fetus
    • weight gain 
    • only moderate rise in cortisol due to increase in CBG
  • increases aldosterone
    • increases CO (high O2 needs for herself and fetus)
  • increase in DHEA-S
    • estrogen production by placenta 


describe changes in fetal thyroid gland and parathyroid gland

  • increase in thyroid hormone helps in somatic growth

  • increase in calcitonin helps with bone formation

  • decrease in parathyroid gland since PTH secretion is unwanted --> fetus needs Ca to be used for bone formation